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condition to judge, from events which not to plunge headlong into a war without were matter of public notoriety, whether, trying every reasonable means of securing though war was not actually declared, the peace. He should vote for the amend. existing circumstances did not call for the ment, not because he wished to embarrass whole energies of the nation. He con- the Government, but because he regarded fessed be viewed the measure with less the renewal of the Property Tax as the alarm than seemed to be felt by some, / ultimate measure of war; and, coupling because he did not now propose any new that renewal with the warlike speech of and untried system of finance, but simply the noble lord, no man could doubt that the renewal of one which for many years the Government was determined on hos. had been acted upon without any detri- tilities : he said the Government, for it ment to the prosperity of the country. was clear the noble lord was now the His object, in the committee, would be Government, and that his opinions, wbat. merely to propose the general principle of ever they might be, were the ruling that system, and any discussion as to the opinions in all that concerned our foreign details would take place in some future, relations. He was sure the people would stage of the measure. The right hon. / pay the tax more cheerfully, if it ap. gentleman had said, and said truly, that peared as the consequence of an inevitable a large loan would be required in addi- war, instead of the cause of war. If a tion; and it was singular, therefore, he war should be necessary, and that necesshould oppose a tax which could alone besity be clearly made out, no one would considered as a substitute for a still larger | more willingly give support to Governloan, which would necessarily have a ment than himself-not because he dreaded great effect upon the public funds. It the superior intellect of Buonaparlé, as was agreed on all hands, that the public was said by an hon, member, but because debt was already too large; and to con- | he dreaded the genius of the French gotinue the whole burthen of the country vernment, and the ascendancy of that upon the funding system, and the credit military system which threatened, the reof the country, would be to ruin both the pose and liberties of Europe. He should one and the other. He considered it as vote for postponing the measure until more honourable and more natural to bear further information relative to our foreign some of it ourselves, rather than to lay it affairs could be communicated. all upon our posterity; and it was, be Lord Lascelles said, that he should be sides, always a most inconvenient time for sorry, if in the present state of Europe, raising large loans, while the issue of great that House were to show any backward. public events was uncertain. No bargain ness in preparing for defence or for war, could be made with any set of contractors, according as either might be necessary; under such circumstances, which would and he should be sorry also to think ibat not be liable to unfair advantages on one the Government was at all influenced by side, or unfair losses on the other, as it those insidious communications which had would be impossible to disclose to them been made to it by the French Governall those particular transactions which ment. He should not vote for the motion alone could enable them to judge of the on the supposition that giving the Propertypropriety of entering into such engage- tax would be an inducement for going to ments.
war, but because an injury would be done Mr. Methuen said, that in giving his to the public interests, if means were not Fole for the motion, he did so from a con- provided for an adequate defence in the viction in his own mind, that whenever first instance, and for war itself should it the present state of things in France should become necessary. cease, the tax would cease also.
The House then divided : Mr. Fremanile voted for the amendment, For the Amendment............ 58 because he thought the delay would be in Against it .......................... 183 no manner prejudicial, but, on the con
Majority ................... -125 trary, would satisfy the House and the country, by showing that all undue pre The original motion was then agreed to, cipitation was avoided.
and the House resolved itself into the Lord Milion said, ihat though he was committee. The resolution of the Chanthe last man who would pin his faith upon cellor of the Exchequer for renewing the the good faith of the present ruler of Property-tax for a year from the 5th France, yet, at the same time we ought April," was read and agreed to, without discussion. Resolutions for funding Ex-Saxony appeared to be, concerning which chequer-bills to the amount of 18,000,0001. another noble friend had declared his inwere also agreed to. The House resumed, tention of submitting a motion, though he and the Report of the Committee was had not fixed the day; in both those ordered to be received to-morrow, cases he believed that all the admitted List of the Minority.
principles of policy, all the principles of
justice, all the maxims of right upon which Aubrey, sir John Moore, P.
the security of nations rested, had been Althorp, lord Martin, H.
more grossly violated than in any transBennet, hon. H. G. Martin, J.
| actions of modern times. There was a Burdett, sir F. Madocks, Wm.
third case likewise, in which it appeared Birch, Jos. Mackintosh, sir J.
that the national character and the naBewick, C.
Monck, sir C.
| tional interests had been no better asserted Byng, G. North, D.
by those in whose hands the government Cocks, hon. J. Onslow, serj.
was now placed. What he alluded to was Chaloner, Robt. Pierse, H.
our relations with the present Sovereign Cavendish, lord G. Prittie, hon. F. A. of Naples. When he acceded to the geCavendish, H. Ponsonby, rt. hon. G. neral confederacy during the last camCalvert, Ch. Proby, ld.
paign, the Treaty which he concluded Dundas, hon. L. Ramsden, J.
with the Emperor of Austria, the EmRomilly, sir S. Duncannon, lord Fremantle, W.H. Shelley, sir S.
peror of Russia, and the King of Prussia, Foley, hon. A. Smith, J.
was sanctioned by our minister abroad, Foley, Tho. Smyth, J. H.
and to the fulfilment of the provisions of Fitzroy, lord J. Smith, A.
that Treaty the national faith and honour Gordon, Robt. Stanley, lord
were distinctly pledged. Since that period, Grenfelí, P. Tierney, rt. hon. G.
however, documents had appeared in the Guise, sir Wm. Wellesley, Rd.
public papers which had not been denied, Grant, J. P. Whitbread, s.
and which, if trve, exceeded every thing Hornby, E. Wilkins, W.
of treachery and fraud which he had yet Wharton, J. Halsey, Jos. Hurst, R. Winnington, sir T.
witnessed in that new diplomatic school Hamilton, lord A. Western, c. c.
of which the noble Secretary of State Knox, Tho.
TELLERS. might be considered as the founder. Lyttelton, hon. W.H. Sir M. W. Ridley Whether it was owing to those causes he Lambton, J. W. Smith.
knew not; but it was generally believed Milton, lord
that hostilities had commenced in Italy,
more serious in their extent, and more House Of LORDS. | dangerous in their probable consequences,
than seemed to be generally apprehended. Thursday, April 20.
The question was of the utmost im. GENOA - Naples-Saxony.] Earl Grey portance, whether considered in reference rose and observed, that it was the practice io a state of war or a state of peace; if of of Parliament, during the pendency of all war, so material a diversion must operate foreign negociations, to leave their ma- very prejudicially against the general nagement, and direction in the hands power and efficiency of that confederacy, of the Executive Government, subject of in whose united exertions the best hopes course to that responsibility on the part of of this country and of Europe would rest; the ministers of the Crown which belonged if of peace (which to the last moment he to the exercise of all discretionary power. should cherish the hope of preserving), But thạt prudent reserve on the part of how much must our reliance upon its conParliament was, he said, to be regulated tinuance be strengthened by maintaining by circumstances; and when cases of relations of amity with the King of Naples? great importance occurred, in which the He did not think it was saying too much justice, the good faith, and the bonour of (if such a war really existed), to affirm the country were involved, it then be that it was extremely doubtful whether came the duty of Parliament to interfere. France or England, whatever might be Such, he suspected, the case of Genoa their disposition for peace, could remain would prove, respecting which a noble neutral in such a contest. He asked friend of his, wbom he did not then see their lordships then, whether they would in his place, had given notice of a motion ; desist any longer from demanding further such also the transactions relating to information? He had not interfered with
the proceedings of Congress, while they duty if he did not bring it before their were in progress; but he was not sure lordshipa as early as possible. The noble whether, in so abstaining, he had not nego lord had alluded to the engagements belected his duty. The time he thought tween this country and Naples, as if they was now come when ministers ought to consisted merely in a convention for the inform that House what was the state of suspension of hostilities, and which con. our foreign relations with the kingdom of vention had not been violated; but he (earl Naples. For that purpose he had risen; Grey) would undertake to show that the and he should sit down in the anxious negociations were not to be looked at hope, that the noble lord would remove merely in that point of view, but that the those fears which he (earl Grey) felt at treaty to which the noble secretary acthis new state of affairs; or if he could not ceded, though not as a subscribing party, do that, at least that he would be able to was one to which the good faith and horemove all imputations from the national nour of this country were as much pledged faith.
for its execution, as if he had actually The Earl of Liverpool said, that the been a subscribing party. The treaty in present moment was not the fit occasion | fact was modified and altered at his sug. for entering into a discussion of the ques. | gestion. The whole case was of so fla. tions touched upon by the noble lord. grant and base a nature, that no explanaOne of tbose questions that which related tions of the documents which had been to Genoa-would soon be brought before published could do away the impression their lordships; the other (Saxony) would they had excited in his mind. He should also be submitted to their notice at an therefore bring the matter under their early period; and on both these occasions lordships notice on Monday se'nnight, he should be prepared to explain dis. when he would move that an Address be tinctly what the principles were upon presented to the Prince Regent, praying which this Government had acted, and for further information, &c. those which had been professed by the Their lordships were ordered to be other Powers at Congress, when their summoned for that day. lordships would be enabled to determine Marquis Wellesley fixed to-morrow se'n. on which side the charge of a new system night for his motion relative to Saxony. of policy could be fairly fixed. With regard to Naples, it was true, as had been Courts Martial On Colonel Quen. stated by the noble lord, that a treaty had | TIN AND OTHERS.) The Earl of Egrebeen concluded between Austria and the mont rose, pursuant to a notice which he Sovereign de facto of that kingdom, during had given, to move for the production of the last campaign; and in consequence of the minutes of the Courts Martial held which the commander in chief of our upon capt. Philip Browne, of the Hermes, forces in Italy entered into a convention Mr. Lazarus Roberts, of the Hamadryad, of armistice with that power. No fact, and colonel Quentin, of the 10th Hussars. however, had been stated of any violation He began by lamenting that the subject of that convention so entered into ; and had not fallen into abler hands, and dis. as to what might have been the particular claiming all personal motives, his only circumstances which influenced the sub- object being to rescue a brave and merisequent conduct of this Government to. torious class of individuals from a situation wards Naples, it was not now the time for in which they ought not to be placed. entering into them; but whenever the He then alluded to the case of captain period arrived, he should be prepared to Browne, who was tried in April 1814, communicate the fullest information, and upon seven charges totally separate and trusted he should be able to satisfy the distinct from each other. One of these House, whatever opinion they might en charges was for drawing bills upon the tertain of the conduct of Government upon commissioners of the navy under fictitious other grounds, that there did not exist the names, another for offering to fight the slightest imputation upon the good faith captain of a merchantman on the quarterof the country.
deck of his own (captain Browne's) ship, Earl Grey said, that as it appeared to and another for tyranny and oppression. be uncertain when that day of promised These were the principal charges, the explanation would arrive, and as the case remaining four being of minor importance, was one so pressing and important, he and it was impossible, the noble lord confelt that it would be a dereliction of his tended, for the mind of man to suggest seven charges more distinct and separate ; cussing minutely all the details of the yet the sentence of the court was, that evidence, and animadverting upon the having maiurely and deliberately con- sentence, as removing the punishment sidered the whole of the evidence, they from the guilty, and throwing it upon were of opinion the charges were partly those who had received the highest praise proved, and did therefore adjudge the from the Duke of Wellington and their prisoner to be dismissed from his Ma- superior officers. His ulterior object he jesty's service. It appeared, however, stated to be to introduce improvement from the minutes of the court-martial, that and reform into the legislative part of the the charge respecting the fraudulent bills military service, by providing a measure upon the commissioners of the navy was which should define accurately the nature decided by the judge advocate general to of charges, which should fix the highest be inadequately supported, as the forged | degree of punishment to each crime, dedocuments were not produced in court; termine the form of words to be embesides which it was urged that the prac. ployed in the sentence, and establish some tice complained of was not unusual in the mode of reference from courts of inquiry Daval service, and was by no means em. I to other tribunals. With a view to lay ployed by captain Browne with any frau- the grounds for such ulterior object, he dulent intent. The evidence upon the should now move, « That an humble Ad. charge accusing him of offering to fight dress be presented to the Prince Regent, the captain of the merchant vessel, proved praying that he would be graciously that he received the grossest and most pleased to order that copies of the several outrageous insults from that individual, courts martial above mentioned, together and that his consequent conduct, however with the opinions of the law officers upon reprehensible it might be, was the result the two first, the orders issued by the of passion excited by that conduct : while | Board of Admiralty, &c.” upon The other charge of tyranny and The Duke of York rose, and made se. oppression, no evidence at all was offered veral observations in consequence of what in support of it. Under These circum. bad fallen from the noble earl, on the case stances it was surely a great injury in- of colonel Quentin, and the consequent flicted upon caplain Browne by the sort decision thereon. His royal highness of sentence which the court passed, by vindicated the proceedings that had taken staring ibat the charges were in part place on the occasion. He described the proved, without specifying how much of important duties of the judge advocate them, or of what charges. The opinion upon the occasion, and highly panegyrised of the law officers was afterwards taken the professional merits of that deserving upon that senience, and we understood officer. The advice which he himself his lordship to say that they had pro- | gave to the illustrious personage reprenounced it to be unjust, illegal, and in senting his Majesty respecting the subformal. The noble lord then adverted sequent decision, was, he could assure the to the court-martial upon Mr. Lazarus House, dictated by his views of the real Roberts, a midshipman of the Hamadryad, honour and advantage of his Majesty's who was in like manner tried upon several service. Referring to the proceedings distinct and separate charges, and had a on the court-martial, on which he differed similar sentence pronounced by the court, in opinion from his noble friend, he de. viz. that they were of opinion the charges scribed the different lines of proceeding were in part proved, and adjudged him to that might be adopted, and added, that be dismissed the service and imprisoned. the greatest caution was used in the selecHe did not mean to cast the slightest im. tion of the officers who con posed the putation upon the members composing court, lest any suspicion of bias might either of those courts, or to insinuate that obtain; and adverted to certain parts of they acted from any partial motives or the conduct of the officers which might undue influence ; it was to the defective in their tendency be highly injurious to principles of the military law to which be the discipline of ihe army. rather wished to draw their lordships at Lord Combermere took the opportunity tention; and it was with a view to the to say a few words. He animadverted on removal of these defects that he intended the letter wbich had been sent round by his present motion as a preliminary mea. the officers of the 10th hussars, which he bure. The noble lord next adverted to characterized as a round robin. He the court-martial on colonel Quentin, dis- bore the highest testimony to the con(VOL. XXX. )
duct of those officers, while on service, of mercy from his sovereign. He cer. though he could not support their subse- tainly could not help considering the sene quent conduct. If commanding officers tence, under such circumstances, as pecu. were not supported against such combina. | liarly hard. tions, he conceived there would be an end Earl Grey said, he was bappy to find of discipline.
that all the disgraceful charges with reViscount Melville followed, and in the spect to captain Browne had been ex. course of some detailed observations, plained away. He was not personally argued that the noble earl had by no known to that officer ; but when he was means laid à sufficient ground for the mo- / at the head of naval affairs he had protion he had called upon the House to moted him, from the strong recommendaadopt.
tion which he received of his merits. The Earl of Cuernaroon said, that there with respect to the conduct of courts. certainly did exist a necessity for re-con- martial, there recently appeared to have sidering the laws by which courts-martial been a good deal of irregularity, which were regulated; and in particular he might render it, in some points of view, wished the House to consider the state proper to revise them; and with respect of the army with respect lo duelling. By to the case of colonel Quentin, he doubled the laws of war the practice was con- the legality of his holding the command demned; and yet the case to which his of a native regiment, he not being a nanoble relative had alluded (ensign Cowell, tural-born subject of this country. of the guards) exhibited the strange con- The Earl of Rosslyn was of opinion, that tradiction of a punishment inflicted for the courts in question in some points of not fighting a duel. Without entering view required revision, though he doubted into all the particulars of that case, he the practicability of a law to regulate was anxious to state that ensign Cowell positively what should or should not be was a young officer of rising hopes, and evidence. of most distinguished though short service;) Earl Stanhope thought that the courts and he had been broken by the sentence in question required revision, and that of a court-martial, for not having fought decisions should be rendered more cona duel upon a most trifling and paltry sonant to the principles of justice. He occasion. In that court-martial not one thought the noble earl bad acted meritoof the rules of evidence was adhered to. riously in bringing the subject forward. One fact which ensign Cowell wished to the question was then put, and the prove, to do away the imputation of hav- motion was negatived without a division. ing acted from motives of cowardice, was the following :-In an action which took place in the South of France, not above a
HOUSE OF COMMONS. fortnight before the foolish affair at the
Thursday, April 20. theatre of Bordeaux occurred, which oc Irish Law-OFFICES Fees Bill.] Sir casioned his being tried, ensign Cowell John Newport rose, in pursuance of his had gallantly led on his men to the charge, 1 previous notice, to move for leave to bring being the only officer to command them in a Bill for the abolition of certain great at that moment. The affair lasted nearly offices in the courts of law in Ireland. la three hours, during which he animated calling the attention of the House to this the soldiers by his heroic example. Seven subject, he felt how much his anxiety and men fell by his side, and not less than trouble must be diminished by the House nineteen were wounded around him. Yet having, on many former occasions, recog. he was not permitted to establish that fact nised the principle on which his proposed so honourable to him, because non-com- Bill was established. Several resolutions missioned officers and privates, according had been passed at different periods, sanc. to the regulation of courts-martial, could tioning the propriety of such a measure, not be called as evidence to character. and leave had been given to introduce a But in that case there was no officer pre- Bill of a similar tendency. He would sent who could be called, and by reject- not, therefore, anticipate any opposition ing the next best evidence, and, indeed, to his intended motion, for the abolition the only evidence which was attainable, of certain great offices after the expiration that youthful and inexperienced, but gal. of the present existing grant. Those lant officer, was at once deprived of all offices were accompanied by large emo. chance of justice before his judges, and lumeats, were for the most part performed